Former Congressman Chris Collins, a Republican who represented New York's 27th Congressional District has pleaded guilty to two charges connected to the insider trading case that ended his time in the House of Representatives. Collins resigned on Monday.
Former Congressman Chris Collins has pleaded guilty to two charges connected to the insider trading case that ended his time in the House of Representatives.
Collins, a Republican who represented New York's 27th Congressional District, pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and a count of making a false statement.
He, his son, and the father of his son's fiancee were indicted in Aug. 2018 on charges of fraud, conspiracy, and lying to the FBI. Collins was accused of tipping off family members to sell stock in a drug company before that stock tanked.
Collins could face up to five years in prison on each charge.
Collins resigned from Congress on Monday shortly after papers were filed saying he would be withdrawing his not guilty plea.
According to News10NBC's Charles Molineaux, Collins spoke after his plea to reporters.
He said that he was very sorry and that he had great faith in the biotech company Innate Immunotherapeutics, and he was devastated when the company's new Multiple Sclerosis drug failed its clinical trials.
Collins admitted that he knew that news would wreak havoc on the company's stock, and that he knew it was illegal for him to tell his son Cameron the news, knowing Cameron would sell his stock to avoid the loss. He said that in the process, he let down his family, friends, colleagues, and fellow shareholders, while being "anything but" a model citizen.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman says Collins' plea shows an important lesson.
"By virtue of his position, Collins helped write the laws of this country and acted as if the law didn't apply to him," he said. "This courthouse is a representation of the ideal of equal justice under law. No one is above the law."
Collins will be sentenced in January. Collins' son Cameron and Cameron's future father-in-law are due in court on Thursday for their plea hearings.
This is a developing story, News 10NBC and Messenger Post Media will have more information as it becomes available.